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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering
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specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> hello and welcome to "bbc world news." a very happy new year 2013. it is already a first of january were you are, this is the greek capital and they're celebrating going around the acropolis. various time zones are coming into the year 2013 and we will keep you up-to-date. not a lot to look at their in
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athens but we will show you the scene in capital across the next few hours on bbc. there is still a lot of work going on on capitol hill. president obama said a deal is in sight to stop america going over the so-called fiscal cliff. congress officials have said the house of representatives will not vote before midnight despite tense negotiations to get an agreement signed before midnight washington time. that will trigger a series of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes and could send the country back into recession. >> of america is staring into the economic unknown. there will be some real damage. there are some people deserving far better and we will be
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scrambling to find budget reductions in we can understand. >> we are upon the fiscal cliff. will we need to focus on is how we find that common ground. ira by -- i believe republicans and democrats alike want to put us on the course to fiscal discipline. >> we are running at a time. americans are threatened with a tax hike in just few hours. i hope we can keep in mind that our single most important goal is to protect middle-class families. >> democrats and republicans in congress have to get this done but they are not there yet. they are closed but not there yet. one thing we can count on with respect to this congress is that if there is even one second left, they will lose -- they will use that last second. >> the gap between the two sides is narrowing. time is running short. if a deal cannot be found, the
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eventual impact on americans will be severe. geeo the year, the ara family would pay an extra $2,000 in tax. there would be sharp cuts in spending across government operations. defense would be hit hard. with so much money coming out of the economy, america would face higher unemployment and probably effect of recession. >> the fiscal cliff is a series of spending cuts and tax rises. the uncertainty is already hurting the economy here and americans are angry. >> there is no reason they can't sell it. >> i'm frustrated with all of capitol hill. it is a lot of people to feel that way. it is disgraceful what's going on and we have to put some people who will compromise and of these guys can do it, get rid of them. >> even if the deal isn't found,
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it won't fix america's budget problems. the government has been tried and found wanting. >> let's take you back to the scene of the greek capital, athens. we did not do it much just as we came to at midnight but the fireworks are under way. it is a country in the deep crypts of austerity budget is perhaps the greeks for getting the financial woes of the country for a few hours. let's leave this beautiful scenes in aphids and go back to the continuing saga on capitol hill. steve kingston is following develops -- following developments.
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>> both sides are expressing cautious optimism that the framework appears to be in place. president obama said at an agreement was in sight but not dead yet. there is a republican senate, but mcconnell, taking the lead directly with vice-president joe biden on the phone. mr. mcconnell said the two parties were very close to an agreement. they were close to an agreement on the tax side that would avert tax rises before the vast majority of americans at midnight here tonight. what they are still talking about is the spending side. the question is what happens -- do they get deferred or delayed? still arguing over that period there is optimism the deal is
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emerging that if we do get it, remembering everything that is agreed has to be approved by the house and senate. there is certainly some suggestions that the house of representatives might not vote on something tonight. >> we will keep you up-to-date with the fiscal cliff situation over the next few hours. we showed you athens a few minutes ago and the fireworks displays around the world have been heralding the start of the new year. north korea has joined other countries in having a pyrotechnics display. australia, china and russia are well into 2013. we are tracking the celebrations. >> residents in samoa were among the first to welcome 2013.
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these to be the last but a year ago, they jumped to the west of the international dateline. the spectacular start to the new year came in sydney harbour, launched by the australian superstar, kiley been no good. -- kylie minogue. 7 tons of fireworks filled the air above sydney harbour bridge. this city's style is rather different. john yang has held what for help -- it's believed to be the first public new year celebration in north korea. burma has joined the global party.
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♪ >> the end of the year would not be complete without the viral pop hit, "gangnam style" being performed with great enthusiasm. while hong kong celebrate with a virtuous so show over victoria harbor. fireworks lit up moscow's red square. in dubai, they filmed the midnight moment under the world's tallest building. the gulf states is eager to take its place among the world's best known venues for the dawn of the new year. >> no happy new year in syria. the situation is as great as ever. the bodies of 30 people found with signs of torture in a
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suburb of damascus. the international peace negotiator of syria urged to push for peace talks between the government and rebels. the country could become a failed state ruled by warlords. in iraq, a wave of attacks killed nearly 23 people and injured more than 80 as a car bomb in a central baghdad neighborhood killed five and wounded 25. seven people were killed and houses. explosions took place in two other cities. but egyptian president has played down the slide in the value of the egyptian pound to a record low. those comments come as central banks launched a new system of the foreign-exchange options to local banks to try to control the value of the egyptian pound.
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the u.s. secretary of state, hillary clinton, is being treated for a blood clot in a vain between her brain and skull. doctors caring for say she should make a full recovery. earlier this month, the veteran politician suffered a concussion after fainting and falling down. >> hillary clinton in belfast earlier this month, the end of a typically frenetic a foreign trip, for countries in five days. is thought to contracted a stomach virus. at home, she fell and suffered a concussion. she's now being treated at this new york hospital and has been told to avoid this sort of punishing travelled has taken her to more foreign capitals than any of her predecessors. 112 on countries and more than a million miles. hillary clinton is popular home. she's one of the most trusted members of president obama's cabinet.
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she missed at least one important domestic in nature and since falling ill -- a congressional hearing to answer questions about the attacked in an gussie. -- attack in benghazi. it is not clear whether she has plans to return next month. it's hardly the conclusion -- this highly individual figure would have wanted. if she harbors future presidential ambitions, a prolonged illness could raise questions. >> still to come, a former us trillion bowler is to be inducted into the hall of fame. >> let's look at some of these stories you're looking at
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online, including some of the most of viral moments. youtube video broke the 1 billion the market for the very first time while social media continue to capture the attention of millions of must watch videos. many of you have been finding out if the belgium british -- whether belgium can be the chocolate capital. they became known for making us chocolate in the world. the chocolate tear is under threat from australia. finally, an uplifting story in paraguay where musicians are using history as constructed from recycled materials. pull them from a rubbish dump around their home. mo t to our web site.
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>> let's take you to our main news -- congressional officials believe the united states state house of representatives will not vote tonight on a deal to avoid the implementation of a tax rises and spending cuts due to come into effect at midnight. fireworks celebrating numerous capital from the world at the start of the new year. foreign combat troops will pull out of a afghanistan in 2014, leaving afghan soldiers to fill the gap. afghanistan may not be able to look after themselves without foreign help. >> if there is progress, it has come with a price. the 44 soldiers were killed in so-called insider attacks or
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shot by rote afghans they're helping to train. it is out of this captain died, playing football here on remembrancer sunday. he was the last british fatality of 2012. >> it affect you personally and are never to raise about that. we will always grief for walter but we will not drop what we're doing because of one individual. >> with the afghans are taking responsibility, leaving most military operations -- leading most military operation that letting foreign troops step back. at this depot, they're learning to carry out repairs, but outside, they're more than 100 vehicles waiting for spare parts. there is a fear that the hard- fought gains could be lost. >> when we leave, maybe they will get a little more.
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hopefully we don't have to come back. >> british forces are handing over basis to the afghan police and army, lowering their profile and maybe the danger. 430 british troops have lost their lives so far, but there is a and insight. -- there is an end in sight. that leaves some wondering whether it's worth the sacrifice. >> british soldiers have not died in vain. 65,000 girls and boys are now going to school year. before, it was violent with no security. >> the ruins of this old ford is a sober reminder of the past zero years of foreign interventions. the british your out of here in 1882.
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with just under 4000 troops due to leave next year and all combat troops out by the end of 2014, this time they hope to leave behind a more lasting legacy. >> the united nations is ending its peacekeeping mission in east timor. officials are taking responsibility for maintaining law and order. the un played a vital role in independence. organizing a referendum that ended the 24 year occupation by indonesia. nine people have been killed and oregon after a school bus crashed on an icy road. the bus was carrying 40 passengers lost control and dropped more than 30 meters down a steep embankment. a chinese fishing boat has been detained by a japanese
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coastguard for fishing in japanese water. the boat could be seen here. china has sent a consul to the region. a former australian fast bowler will be inducted into the hall of fame during his country's third test against she lenca this week. heals the highest number for test wickets, 563. the first tennis' grand slammer of the year is almost upon us. australia open of starts in the fortnight. she is currently in china in preparations for the millburn and then. last time, she is beaten in a third round. she needs to improve to win back
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a place in the top 10. >> we're trying to get ready in two weeks. we are just not ready for the matches. the australian open is where i had my most difficulties and i'm trying this year for better preparation to be more ready. i will try my best. >> as much of the world celebrate new year's eve, alex burton is celebrating his birthday. his office of member wish to united manager the best.
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>> happy birthday. congratulations. happy new year to him and his family. >> now to a good comeback story -- sweden [indiscernible] 1 hydro when a torn achilles' tendon ruin her chance for the olympics. then came the 2005 world athletic championships in helsinki. she made it back from injury and became the world champion. >> my greatest moment on sports and i would say my life was winning the world championship. getting a gold medal was fantastic and the preparation before i tore my achilles' tendon a few weeks before the olympics was my big bill.
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i don't believe this to start off with leader but i learned how to walk again and eventually i managed to come back. getting a little mental break as well. it was by far the greatest. >> i remember the competition itself. were you always confident? did the fortunes rise and fall? >> i was really nervous because i felt like this was my chance to win a "bridge into a gold medal.
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during the helsinki games, the weather was horrible. 10 degrees, pouring down and when we walked into the stadium, this guy opened up and it was like the sun came down for the first time. then all my anxiety left knee. >> the first feeling is so much joy and relief. >> i screamed and i was way too happy. it was an amazing moment. >> as people celebrate ringing
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in the new year, spare a thought for the sailors, they sailed on less than four hours sleep a night. he is currently six over 1,600 miles each it -- east of new zealand. spoke to him aboard his yacht. >> it today, the pacific is quite a quiet day. it has been freezing cold and a bit like being in a sauna because it's cold and a rather great. conditions were pretty steady and called it the moment. that's better than a big storm. >> the new year has just started. does it make much different to
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you? did you do anything special? >> in terms of on board the boat, not really anything special. they're all gathering down in the wales and i made a call and was able to speak with everyone. i did have a few presents on board and a few little treats. we try to celebrate these things, but running a big blow like this takes quite a bit of effort. it is quite a tight race. >> you are in relatively high spirits. how do you cope with the lack of sleep?
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>> we sleep catnaps. i have not slept for more than like 40 minutes. you sleep in quite short chunks and scan the instruments and make sure you are on speed. then drop back off again. >> we wish you a happy new year. let's leave you with some of the new year's fireworks celebration is taking place around the world. ♪
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♪ news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank.
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>> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was
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